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Friday, April 16, 2021

Coffee roaster Meira reduces carbon footprint with bio-based packaging

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Finland-based coffee roaster Meira has launched a sustainable range called Vallilan Paahtimo, with vegan, bio-based packaging.

Finnish coffee roaster Meira has partnered with packaging manufacturer Amcor in its new Vallilan Paahtimo line to reduce its carbon footprint by 45%.

Based in Helsinki, the coffee company has always placed a huge focus on sustainability in its operations. It recycled coffee waste into biogas and is on the road to reduce carbon emissions by around 77 tonnes per year. It has also increased its waste recycling rate to 80%, and aims to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2022.

Vallilan Paahtimo is single-origin coffee that’s sustainably grown and has aluminium-free packaging. Aluminium is heavily used in coffee packaging, with one-way valves present to protect the freshness of the beans by keeping out oxygen. Preserving the aroma and flavour of the coffee is the main challenge when developing bio-based packaging.

Check out our story on how brands are innovating with sustainable packaging.

Speaking to FoodNavigator, Meira’s Riikka Katajainen and Marleena Bask said: “Aluminium and metallised barriers found in most coffee packaging preserve the product, however there is a need for more sustainable, recyclable or renewable solutions. Removing aluminium as well as replacing standard polyethylene (PE) with bio-based PE gave us a more sustainable product with an easy switch.”

Meira switched to plant- and bio-based PE made from sugarcane, after collaborating with Amcor, who coffee marketing director Giorgio Dini explained: “Bio-based materials are renewable, which means they can be grown again. This is compared to traditional polymers, made from depletable fossil resources that contribute to exhausting the limited resources on the planet.​ Like traditional PE, bio-based PE is fully recyclable, accepted in mono-PE streams, and in mixed polyolefin streams.”​

Katajainen and Bask added: “An important benefit for us was that this switch to bio-based materials was seamless. Our production capacity has not been affected, as the structure of the material and its technical and mechanical properties are the same as conventional polyethylene.”

Read our interview with carbon-neutral company Apostle Coffee’s Jon Stanford.

Anay Mridul
Anay is the managing editor of The Vegan Review. A journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan in 2020, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.

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